The Real Harrison's Rock

Mike and me passed the 'Nudism is not Allowed' sign at the top of the cliff... wrapped up in warm clothes and Goretex to keep out the rain.

There were rain showers across the whole of the UK over the weekend... Obviously time for chalk climbing.

Last year's winter season was a write-off for me after post-appendectomy abdominal pains kept me side-lined until well into spring. The psyche was overflowing to make up for the disappointment and lost time. Mileage was objective of the day. I was looking to get some forearm pump.

High tide put the East side off limits so we climbed some of regular routes on the West side: Back Off Back On, Back Up (the start feels much harder this year), Strangeness and Charm of the Quark, and then Back to the Future. It took a couple of routes to find the flow and relax the axe grip. Gradually the weather improved.

Mike climbing Back Off Back On (C5)
Mike climbing Back to the Future (C6)
Then we set about trying the recently erected 'Hawk', a C6+ to the West of 'Fulmar'. And what a route! 30m of relentlessly steep and bulgy climbing with plenty of bolts but plenty of thin moves. And little in the way of rests. The moves were not obvious. My forearms ached. Regularly I would shake out only for the pump to soon return. I made it as far as the penultimate bolt on the final steep wall. Then my wrists turned to jelly and I was forced to rest. More hanging around at the final bolt followed before pushing on to the lower-off. Despite the dogged last few metres I was chuffed with my effort as it was undoubtedly the hardest thing I had climbed at Saltdean (the C7s on the East side feel easier due to the bucket holds and easy linkage). My arms were wasted. But then that was my objective for the day.

Hawk (C6+)


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